Firearms licensing: police guidance
The possession of firearms and ammunition in Great Britain is regulated mainly by the Firearms Acts 1968.
The guidance to the police on firearms law was last revised in 2002. It is intended to assist consistency of practice between police forces by providing them with comprehensive guidance, and also to encourage an understanding among firearms users and the general public of the considerations involved.
The Home Office are currently in the process of updating the guide, under the title guide on firearms licensing law. Chapters are being released in batches, the first of which are available now. Links are also available to the 2002 version guidance to the police on firearms law.
Firearms security handbook provides guidance for police and others on securely storing and moving guns.
Firearms security: a brief guide is also available.
The 2011 leaflet Air weapons: a brief guide to safety contains information on the safe handling and storage of air weapons, the different types of air weapons and air weapons and the law.
Approval of rifle and muzzle-loading pistol clubs explains what approval means and how clubs can apply for it. It also explains the criteria and conditions which they must meet in order to obtain approval and remain approved.
Other publications include:
- Air gun owners: new legislation - leaflet from 2004 provides advice on how to comply with the ban on self-contained gas cartridge weapons
Deactivation of firearms - these specifications were revised in 2010
- Firearms and ammunition handed in during the firearms amnesty 2003 - a table outlining the types and numbers of weapons and ammunition handed over
- Section 5 authorisation to protect UK-registered ships: guidance to applicants - outlines the interim authorisation process on the use of armed guards on UK-registered ships.
- Interim process for section 5 authorisation for maritime armed security applications: questions and answers - series of frequently asked question about the process for applicants seeking authorisation under section 5
- Approval or renewal of approval for a rifle or pistol club: application form
- Possess, purchase, acquire, manufacture, sell or transfer prohibited weapons and/or ammunition: application form
The year 2013 is a peak renewal period for section 5 authority holders. If your section 5 is due to expire in May, June or July you are advised to apply for renewal earlier than usual enclosing documentary evidence of your trade for the previous 6 months and prospective trade.
Police use of firearms
For general information for the police on the use of firearms, you need to go to the following pages on The National Archives: